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Is leaving a bullet in the body a good medical practice?

On Behalf of Cronin & Maxwell

In some cases, when a person suffers a gunshot wound, the surgeon is unable to remove the bullet or decides there is no need to remove the bullet. He or she will leave those in the body. Many times, doctors will tell patients that there is nothing to worry about and that leaving the bullet in the body is the best option.

In fact, according to The Atlantic, not removing bullets is a very common practice, and many surgeons will not attempt to remove a bullet that is not creating a problem due to its location. Often, the justification is that removing the bullet will cause additional health issues and damage. However, some now think that leaving a bullet in a person is the more dangerous option.

Potential poisoning

Some new data suggests that bullets can lead to lead poisoning. It may cause a person to have memory loss, mood disorders and fatigue. It may even lead to miscarriages. The most alarming thing is that this issue does not happen right away. It generally takes years for the symptoms to show up.

Medical recommendations state there is a fairly low level of acceptable lead in the body with some saying no levels of lead are OK. A bullet is lead, so if it is in the body, it will leak lead into the body, which gets into the bloodstream. Side effects are bound to happen in time from the exposure.

Sticking to the standard

Despite the new research, many still feel leaving the bullet is the best solution. They say that the process of extracting a bullet, especially one that is near a major organ or artery, is entirely too dangerous to risk. For now, the recommendation is only to remove a bullet if a person later shows symptoms of lead poisoning, which is scary for someone who is a gunshot victim with a bullet inside his or her body right now.

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